The Government has today announced the opening of a new €15 million ‘Additional Outdoor Infrastructure Fund’ to help ensure a Safe Outdoor Summer.
The funding will support local authorities in enhancing outdoor urban space and improving walking and cycling infrastructure. This will assist the safe outdoor re-opening of society as Ireland gradually looks to lift current COVID-19 public health restrictions.
“We know that outdoor activities are going to be the main activities this summer. This funding will provide the necessary infrastructure for making our outdoor dining experiences comfortable and safe" stated Louth Senator Erin McGreehan. "We all want to enjoy our summer safely, this fund will assist in enhancing these experiences that so many of us are missing.”
Local authorities are invited to apply under the funding stream for short term measures which will help create safe outdoor urban spaces for the public. The measures will need to be quickly implemented and provide areas in villages, towns, and cities where people can walk, cycle and gather outdoors while practicing social distancing.
The funding will allow for changes to traffic management arrangements to facilitate the reallocation of road space to improve facilities and safety for urban pedestrians and cyclists, with eligible projects including pedestrianizing streets, extending footpaths and creating more public seating.
The fund will also complement other Government initiatives such as Fáilte Ireland’s new €17 million Outdoor Dining Enhancement Investment Scheme and the €14 million Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Fund for areas outside our cities and towns/villages, recently launched by the Department of Rural and Community Development.
The Additional Outdoor Infrastructure Fund will be administered by the National Transport Authority (NTA) as part of its overall national funding programme. A circular has issued to all local authorities with information on how to apply to the programme with allocations announced in the coming weeks.